Arsenal were back to winning ways this weekend, in a tense performance against Bournemouth. Following three successive draws, Arsenal’s weekend success was long overdue. It must be mentioned however, that Arsenal still only just made it over the line.
We had a bright start early on as we attacked towards the Clock End, in which the atmosphere was flat as ever, but better than the North Bank seemed. We pressed well enough and soon Sanchez got his reward for pressing, as mentioned in the PSG post, Sanchez gives us another layer of protection with his defence from attack. His goal was well taken after being gift wrapped. The Debuchy injury seemed to unsettle us, and certainly disrupted our rhythm. Similarly to the PSG game, the referring was shocking, and the Bournemouth pen was soft. Overall our first half performance was a little savoury, no punch in attack and especially with Gabriel a little vulnerable at the back.
Debuchy was good whilst he lasted, and its a shame to see him injured again. Gabriel stepped in and gave an uncomfortable performance. He’s like Bambi on ice on the ball, and in the modern game full backs are relied upon for starting up attacking moves with precise passing that Gabriel lacks – although it was an honourable performance for the out of position centre half.
In all honesty our second half performance wasn’t a huge improvement. Lethargic forward moves persisted. Our second goal was well taken, Theo Walcott’s second headed goal I believe. From that platform we should’ve made switches and killed off the game, instead we allowed Bournemouth to grow back into the game (like PSG) and we were fortunate that Benik Afobe of all people didn’t level the scores. At 2-1 another goal was inevitable and eventually we killed it off, with a swift move on the break.
Sanchez has received a lot of praise following the match, although he got two goals I don’t actually think he added much to the game. Whenever we got the ball in attacking positions with Sanchez he seemed to slow the game down, allowing Bournemouth to regain their shape, although it is also true he did carve out our best chances of the first half.
Surprisingly we have escaped November without a loss, but I fear a fist loss since the opening day will occur in December, which serves four challenging away fixtures in West Ham, Basle (although meaningless), Everton and Man. City that could see our promising run come to a grinding halt. Although with just Southampton tomorrow in the EFL Cup, we go into our League games with some confidence after a November where we showed some resilience.
Cech (6), Debuchy (6), Koscielny (7), Mustafi (6), Monreal (6), Xhaka (7), El Neny (7), Walcott (7), Ozil (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Sanchez (7)
Subs – Gabriel (6), Giroud (6.5), Ramsey (6)